About Andrés Spokoiny...

After the Siren: Yom Hazikaron and Gratitude

Israel has two major memorial days: Yom Hazikaron—the remembrance day for fallen soldiers of Israel and Israeli terror victims—and Yom Hashoah Vehagevurah, Holocaust and Heroism memorial day. One is a reminder of the cost of having a Jewish State; the other is a reminder of the cost of not having it.

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Why is This Freedom Different from All Other Freedoms?

There few things more delightful that getting into an argument with your teenage child about the meaning of “freedom”. No, my dear son, it doesn’t mean the absence of a curfew or being free to do your homework at the last second. No, my beloved daughter, it’s definitely not the freedom to stay out that late at a party.

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Greece and Rome: Ideas, Technology, and the Problem with American Judaism

Much of our communal energy over the last three decades has been aimed at creating platforms, leaving the content pretty much up for grabs.

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Did Haman Have a Point?

Maybe what Haman wanted wasn’t so bad after all. He yearned for a homogeneous society, one in which people think the same thoughts, obey the same ruler, respect the same law, and march together towards glory and prosperity. If a small group stands in the way of a bright utopia, isn’t it justified to eliminate them?

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Diaspora Philanthropy To Israel Is No Longer A One Way Street

Forward, February 26, 2018.

I follow Anshel Pfeffer’s column in Haaretz with assiduity. I usually find his mordant analyses profound and insightful. But I can’t help but take exception to his recent article, “Help Israel. Stop Giving It Money.”

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Tu Bishvat: Rousseau’s Social Contract and the Carob Tree

Our obligations extend to both past and future.

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The Kidnapped Goddess, The Hidden Light, and Hanukkah

Persephone was a unique goddess in Greek mythology. She lived an idyllic and lonely life in communion with Nature, far from the other gods and the endless intrigues of Zeus’ gang. The most eligible bachelors on Mt. Olympus, Apollo and Hermes, courted and wooed her to no avail. She preferred to spend her days picking wild flowers and nurturing the Earth. Hades, however—the wicked Greek god of the underworld—didn’t waste time on courtship. Instead of spending his drachmas on fancy dinners or expensive Olympian champagne, he simply opened a wedge in the Earth’s crust, emerged from his darkness, and forcefully abducted the beautiful Persephone. With Persephone gone, the Earth plunged into cold and darkness. The trees lost their leaves, flowers withered and died, and the land become bare and desolate. Humans were hungry and the gods sad.

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Terror in New York: A Personal Reflection on Friendship

Intense, lifelong friendships that transcend social and cultural barriers are an Argentinian specialty, like tango, recurrent currency crises, and artery-clogging steaks.

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Sukkot: Don’t Read This—It’s Utterly Futile

The choice of Kohelet for Sukkot is a curious one. Sukkot is supposed to be the most joyous festival in our calendar, and yet, on it we read a book that starts with this uplifting phrase: “Utter futility, utter futility, everything is futile”. Gulp.

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Philanthropic Arrogance (and how to avoid it), Part II

In order to succeed as philanthropists, we need to better understand and accept the views of those who are in positions of less relative power. Now, that’s not impossible, but it takes deliberate, and sometimes uncomfortable, action.

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